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. Sep 2020 .
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Doctrines & Morals

Justice and mercy remains a vital challenge

1 Cor. 5:1-8, Lk. 6:6-11. Paul would not cover up a public scandal in the Church, no matter who the person may be. He judges it “lewd conduct” for a man to be cohabiting with his stepmother. Even if the man’s father was deceased, this type of marriage was scandalous in Jewish law (Lev. 20:11). In today's first reading, Paul challenges his community to “Get rid of the old yeast,” on the basis that if left unchecked, just a little of it would infect the whole batch. He sets very high moral standards for the continues membership of the community. Although union with Christ by faith is open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity, membership of the Church requires fidelity and self-control. To be one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12:12.27) the values of Jesus must characterise the members.

On the other hand, if standards are set so high and the behaviour of Church members, especially of those in ordained ministry, were subjected to public sanctions, it could lead to hypocrisy and the covering up of grave faults to avoid scandal. Keeping a right and fair balance between mercy and justice remains a vital challenge to any society and Jesus makes this clear in today's Gospel. In order to make Jesus look like a law-breaker, a man with a paralysed hand was brought forward, hoping that compassion for the man’s handicap would cause the volatile preacher from Nazareth to break the Sabbath. Their legalist view of Sabbath observance taught them that no work, not even one of healing, should be done on that holy day. Their tendency was to regard God as the supreme law-giver and that all rules are meant to be kept, regardless of circumstances. However, the heart of Jesus could not be bound by such a rigid attitudes of those who will twist the truth around and use it against Him.

May the Lord bring us His healing and help us to listen to His voice before we speak or act! Amen!! Remain safe and have a fruitful week!!!

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